Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice on Emergency Contraception and Associated Factors among Female Students in Gondar Town, Northwest Ethiopia
Keywords:Emergency Contraception, Knowledge, attitude and practice among female students
Background: Young unmarried women constitute a high risk group for unsafe abortions. It has been estimated that a widespread use of emergency contraception may significantly reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy followed by a number of abortion-related morbidity and mortality by 85% and 50%, respectively.
Objective: To assess knowledge, attitude, and practice of emergency contraception and associated factors among female students.
Methods: A school based cross-sectional study using a self administered questionnaire was conducted on 780 female students selected using a stratified random sampling in Gondar town, in May 2009.
Results: Five hundred thirteen (65.8%) of the students have never heard about emergency contraceptive. Some 307 (39.4%) were knowledgeable about emergency contraception. About 64.1% of the students had positive attitude towards emergency contraceptives and 64(38.3%) of the sexually active students reported that they had used emergency contraceptive, methods previously. Factors such as being urban dweller, previous sexual practice, and advanced academic level were predictors of knowledge on emergency contraceptive. Students in the preparatory school had 3.5 times better knowledge on emergency contraception than secondary school female students. Being urban resident and preparatory school student were predictors of attitude on emergency contraceptive. Married students had 3.7 times more practice with emergency contraception than unmarried students.
Conclusion: Knowledge about and practice with emergency contraceptives were low among students. Urban residents, those who had sex in the past, and preparatory school students were found to have positive attitude and better knowledge on emergency contraception.
Recommendation: Strengthening information, education and communication in schools on sexual and reproductive health, with a special emphasis on different modern family planning methods, including emergency contraceptive, and ensuring access to friendly service should be improved in the school. Furthermore, knowledge of modern contraception, including emergency contraceptive and sex education should be incorporated in the curriculum.